INDIANAPOLIS — Last year, a local musician, like an estimated 63% of Americans, pivoted careers during the pandemic.
Greg Gilpin became a home organizer, and now that second career has really taken off in a big way.
In fact, you can watch the maestro's skills on television next Monday.
Right in the middle of extreme clutter, you'll soon see his familiar face helping hoarders dig out of their homes. That's because the Indianapolis composer is now orchestrating major cleanups on the popular A&E show, "Hoarders."
"It really all starts happening when the cameras roll," Gilpin said. "We are there as organizers to go, 'What do you need us to do?' and then we do it. So it's 'Greg, you've got to stage this room and finish it up in 20 minutes. Go!' And - that's what I did. That's what we did and so you'll get to see it all on the show, which is great!"
Helping compulsive hoarders on television isn't what Gilpin envisioned as a career path. But the composer and choral conductor had to reinvent himself in 2020.
"In March, I was on stage at Carnegie Hall, had 350 singers. But I left on that Monday and that's when it went crazy in New York," he explained to 13News last December. "Then after that, it was dead. It was nothing. There was just...the music 'died.'"
So Gilpin improvised, got certified as a professional home organizer and created his own company called 'Maestro Organizing,' to help Hoosiers declutter their homes.
Gilpin's shared his skills and creativity through YouTube videos and that got him noticed by one of the main organizers on "Hoarders." He was then invited to work on the show.
The experience, he said, was intense.
"When we first get there, you're like, 'Wow! We have a lot of work to do,'" Gilpin said.
The team gets four days to sort thousands of items and help the hoarder out of crisis. Gilpin worked in two episodes this season.
'Peggy' airs Nov. 29 and 'Paul' airs this coming Monday, Nov. 1.
"Paul had lots of artwork and lots of different things and we had to go down there and try to create a new life for him. They all get to a desperate mode. There was a lot of moving of boxes in and out and cleaning and figuring out what needs to be there and I learned a lot about how a TV show is put together, as well," Gilpin said. "It's beyond just 'cleaning up.' It's all emotional. I mean when you get down to it, it's never about the stuff. That's what I've learned. It's really emotional."
And that's what makes this musician's second career more similar than you'd think to his first.
Gilpin said from the stage, to a Hoosier's garage to an extreme hoarder home in Florida, he enjoys tuning into people and helping them find joy.
"As I leave a client's house, I have the same feeling as leaving a rehearsal because there's emotions and people have changed and they're happier," Gilpin said. "It's amazing and I love that I've discovered this."